The characters in the play don't understand themselves, so they make it difficult for the readers to understand them. An important theme of the play concerns identity, which is why the characters are complicated. Julie, for example, does not understand her place in society as an aristocrat or as a woman; her confusion and lack of understanding is the primary focus of the play. This is an excerpt on eNotes discussion on Miss Julie: "
Strindberg's drama focuses on the downfall of the aristocratic Miss Julie, a misfit in her society (the author refers to her in his preface as a "man-hating half-woman"). Julie rebels against the restrictions placed on her as a woman and as a member of the upper-class. From the beginning of the play, her behavior is shown to alienate her peer class and shock the servants. She displays a blatant disregard for class and gender conventions, at one moment claiming that class differences should not exist and the next demanding proper treatment as a woman of aristocracy. Her antics result in her social downfall, a loss of respect from her servants, and, ultimately, her suicide." See the link below for a full discussion of this complex character.